Monday, July 31

Online Library: Rav Kook & Art

Click here for an online library of a dozen essays exploring Rav Kook's attitutude to the visual arts and their capacity to contribute to religious life and experience.
The annotated bibliography is linked to print materials available online for the first time as PDF files, or to material available on the web.

Sunday, July 30

For today’s superattentive parents, involved in almost every aspect of their children’s lives, dating is merely one more sphere of influence.
Turns out mom and dad might be the best shadchanim after all...

(And what does it say about the changing nature of parent-child relations.)

Thursday, July 27

Don't Make Me Turn Around

"He touched me!"
"She's looking at me!"
"He's on my side of the car!"

On the social psychology of the back-seat fight (and the Mid-East Conflict).

Wednesday, July 26

Tefillat HaDerekh

Tuesday, July 25

Egan in Israel

So Kieran Egan, a renowned professor of education, is invited to deliver a seminar in Israel, and a funny thing happened as he learns that it's "hard not to feel that [in North America] one is on the sidelines of history, whereas in Jerusalem history continues close up against your face."

The history of Israel is full of vividness, but the school is such a determining institution that, faced with the task of telling children about David, Saul, Absalom, Absalom, oh my son Absalom, the creation of the world, and all that, teachers have to organize the knowledge into a form that will make it comprehensible to 30 or more children at once. This has tended to lead to industrial procedures in teaching. Teachers are taught to first consider their objectives for the lesson or lessons, then line up the content they want to convey, then consider the methods that they will use, then design the means of evaluation that will allow them to know how successful or otherwise they have been. The result of these planning procedures, derived from assembly line systems of building refrigerators, tends to be, unsurprisingly, dullness in presentation and little learning as a result. My talk was to suggest that the teachers might think of the content to be taught more as a good story to be told than as a set of objectives to be attained.

Click here.

Monday, July 24

Dr. J Online

Years ago, when we were in yeshiva, there was only one dictionary: Jastrow.
It has since been replaced by other, more user-friendly, but not nearly as complete, volumes.
Now it is online and fully indexed here.

Sunday, July 23

Thinking Torah

Alex Israel has another new blog (in addition to this one).
See today's post with recommendations of how to insert new kavanna (direction, thoughts) into our daily prayer in light of the situation in Israel..

Thursday, July 20

Abe Stern z"l

Dr. Abe Stern, the "inventor" of shabbatonim, Seminar, Counterpoint, and much of contemporary informal Jewish education, has died.
Click here.

Wednesday, July 19

New Book for 9 Av

Click here.

Tuesday, July 18

Hinukh La-Emunah

Educating Toward Belief
Conference at Beit Morasha (July 26-27)
Click here.

Monday, July 17

New Fellows

We are proud to announce that six outstanding educators will join us for machzor 9 of the ATID Fellows, and will work and learn alongside members of machzor 8 during 5767 on an array of new initiatives for Jewish education.

Click here to meet the Fellows...

Sunday, July 16

Teaching Jewish Thought

Last month Professor Gerald Blidstein spoke at the annual meeting of ATID's Fellows and Alumni on issues related to teaching Machshevet Yisrael (Jewish Thought).

Now you can listen online (or download the MP3) to his Hebrew talk, which included a discussion and Q&A with the packed auditorium of ATID educators. Questions included: What is the relationship between the academic field of Machshevet Yisrael and our work in the classroom, and what can we teachers learn from professors? Which thinkers seem to you best able to address questions of faith for today's students? To what degree is the Jewish intellectual tradition ambivalent about the study of philosophy?

Professor Blidstein was awarded the Israel Prize for Jewish Thought on Yom HaAtzmaut 5766 (2006). He is professor of Jewish Thought at Ben Gurion University in Beer Sheva.

Click here.

Friday, July 14

13 Ikkarei Hashkafa

There is an interesting online list of 13 Ikkarei Hashkafa floating around cyberspace. It would be interesting to discuss--even if we agreed with all 13--how we might educate toward them. Click here and/or see below.

1. It is important to know the difference between a posuk and a
2. It is important to know the difference between a ma'amar halakha and
ma'amar aggadata.
3. It is important to know the difference between aniquated scientific and
medical beliefs reported in the gemara which originate from ancient goyishe
philosophers, and spiritual truths which are reported in the gemara which
originate in a mesorah from har sinai.
4. It is important to know the difference between pesukim which are
metaphors and pesukim which are literal.
5. It is important to know the difference between halakha and chumra.
6. It is important to know the difference between halakha and minhag.
7. It is important to know the difference between the private hanhagos of
the Gr"a and his piskei halakha.
8. It is important to know the difference between "gedolim" who can say a
good vort or who can give good shiur on the sugya, and real posekim who have a
sophisticated understanding of politics, sociology, psychology, medicine, and
9. It is important to know the difference between a true machlokess le-shem
shamayim and the machinations of a group of despicable, small minded, hateful,
vengeful, power-hungry rashayim.
10. It is important to know the difference between examining your ma'asim
and examining your mezuzos.
11. It is important to know the difference between ga'ava and yir'as
12. It is important to know the difference between chochma and "da'as
13. It is important to know the difference between situations that call for
pesak halakha, and those which call for etizah.

Thursday, July 13

Chief Rabbis Video

Rabbi Yosef Chaim Zonnenfeld, zt"l, Chief Rabbi of the pious Jerusalem Ultra-Orthodox community in the Holy Land; Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook, zt"l, Chief Rabbi of Palestine; and Rabbi Jacob Meir, zt"l, Rishon le-Tzion; meeting with British officials, including Sir Winston Churchill, in Jerusalem on May 1, 1918. Click here if video doesn't begin.

23 second silent newsreel.

Wednesday, July 12

Google ATID Books

Some of ATID's books are searchable at Google Books.
Click here.

Tuesday, July 11

Defending Haredim

Are Haredim (and their culture) treated unfairly by the academic research set?
Azure explores here.

Sunday, July 9

Treating Enemy With Respect

This just in from the "Binfol Oyvekha Al Tismach" Department...

(Thanks, Uri)

Friday, July 7

New website teaches, explains, dissects, outlines (by video and print) Tosfos to various massekhtot.
Looks like an important new resource.
Click here.

Thursday, July 6

Smoke Clearing

In follow up to last week's post, we're very pleased to report that the RCA has come out with a statement/psak banning smoking.
Hirhurim beat us to the punch--click here.

Tuesday, July 4


Haaretz suggests studying Kaddish as a literary text.
Click here.

(Thanks Alex!)

Sunday, July 2

Rambam Legacy

New book from Yashar:
The Legacy of Maimonides:
Religion, Reason and Community 800th Anniversary
Commemorative Collection (320 pages), $26.95

Click here...